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History Safety or Didn,t know any better.

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by christmas tree, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. AldeanFan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2014
    Posts: 249


    Somewhere in my in-law’s stuff there’s a picture of my wife’s grandfather taking a calf to market in the rumble seat of an early 30’s Pontiac coupe.

    Story is the Pontiac Coupe was the first “farm truck” they owned after coming to Canada. It burnt a hole in a piston so they took out the bad piston and rod and fit a wooden plug in the cylinder, then drove on 5 cylinders for many years.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  2. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 6,612


    Some of the Hambers here are building vintage race and they may have no option to relive the past experience with gear that may not have been part of back then. I can understand this as again whatever type of competition there are horrible reminders of things that may happen. This is one of those things were safety overrides the past and you know fellas I wish for you to make the finish line intact...;)
    Latigo and INVISIBLEKID like this.
  3. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,374

    Engine man
    from Wisconsin

    In the old days it was schedule 40 pipe then people started using thinner wall tubing to make cars lighter. Nobody knew how thick the tubing was. Everyone assumed that people would use the proper materials for their own safety but that didn't prove to be the case. People were seriously injured from the lighter tubing but people kept using it because lighter was faster. They finally started weighing cars and had minimum weight limits to try to prevent that.
    Stogy likes this.
  4. christmas tree
    Joined: Dec 7, 2009
    Posts: 320

    christmas tree

    I,m currently trying to restore our 1965 altered back to that era and as I have built several latter cars and as I look at the chassis they were really simple and not a lot to them. The car was built in 1963-64 but for some reason in the latter years we always called it our 1965 car. Age has slowed me down a lot but I hope I,ll be able to start soon, as I have enough parts saved and gathered.
    pitman and Stogy like this.
  5. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 6,612


    I don't know much at all about rules regarding running down the track but I do understand that there are retro events where you can run what you got and the rules of a person running down the track may be different than other Drag events. Your certainly in the right place for period correct...and will get much praise and appreciation for doing so. Look forward to that. What is this altered based on?
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
  6. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,374

    Engine man
    from Wisconsin


    I saw a racer do this in the 1950s. He was leading a race by a wide margin when his throttle linkage broke so he leaned out the front like that to work the throttle but that was a white car.
  7. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 8,238

    Atwater Mike

    I still recall HRM featured drag coupes with the Moon tank and pressure pump in the cockpit, on passenger floor...

    Kinda like, "DO IT THIS WAY...", with Peterson Publishing beckoning finger...hell, I followed.
    Stogy likes this.
  8. christmas tree
    Joined: Dec 7, 2009
    Posts: 320

    christmas tree

    Car built in 1963 and 64 , do not know why but we got to calling it a 65 car. Restoring the chassis to 1967 with a 292 Chevy inline. Danna 44 rear with 3.90 gear 3 speed Chevy 2nd and high gear. Lakewood scatter shield, CAE front axle. This car was a record holder in 67 and thats what I,m striving for.
    Stogy likes this.
  9. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 6,612


    @christmas tree...sorry I'm asking is it a old Sedan, Coupe, Topolino, Bantam...what is the body attached to your altered? Any pics of it back in the day?
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  10. rudestude
    Joined: Mar 23, 2016
    Posts: 1,334


    I don't know I felt pretty safe in mine ... because once you climbed in and got settled in you could look right and left and see nothing but tires inches away from your head ...then look forward and see a big ass Hemi sitting there a couple of feet in front of you and it's zoomies looking right at you but when I looked down and saw that my crotch was resting right up against the rear end pumpkin ....did I get scared ...Hell No.... because there was a sticker on the rear end housing that read "Bullet Proof .....Almost " and all was good to go ........

    Sent from my QTASUN1 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  11. B.A.KING
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,268


    K9 racer on here has several old round track cars,30/40s .don't know if he still has it but at one time he had a roll cage built out of very small diameter aluminum tubing.I could pick it up with 1 hand!!!
    Stogy likes this.
  12. spanners
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 537


    I read about one of the early Australian drag racing teams built a very quick car. The regulations required a rollcage and had to be tested for thickness. The 'cage was built using exhaust pipe but the inspection hole where the thickness was tested was a small section of the correct thickness. I'm sure it's been done before.
    Stogy likes this.
    Joined: Jul 20, 2016
    Posts: 243


    Well our new fragile generation are definitely not risk takers especially with helicopter parents nowadays, except for the plain crazies.
  14. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 1,990


    Thinking it was, Didn't know any better and the safety equipment requirements met the times. Born into a racing family, from baby on into my 40's, racing was a huge part of my life, was a car owner and a driver many years and I am thankful that safety evolved with time, as I started in 70, first year of mandated full roll cage/Midgets ( my Dad would not let me drive until roll cage rule came in) and tested it's integrity quickly, my enthusiasm, desire surpassed my talent level/experience for some years. I was very lucky, some trips to crash house,(recovering and laying there for a while gives you time to rethink decisions made) I learned the hard way to keep brain and foot connected, ran wing Sprint cars at end of my driving days, never tore one up. Sadly, some friends, competitors perished, worse yet, crippled, brain injury's, etc, racing a tough/cruel deal,(that part of racing I hate) I loved it and quit at 43, still miss it. Today's racers are enjoying the advancements of safety that a heavy price was paid for in blood/deaths. Now speaking as an "Old Timer" IMO the cars have become so safe that crashing each other has become an accepted way of winning and car owners today have enough sponsor funding or personal wealth, torn up, junked race cars are OK, acceptable. I Have some friends involved in Vintage racing originally started up to give men that did not race for what ever reason in their youth a chance to go play and pretend to be racers, a few old racers do get involved, to display their running show piece, ( keep speeds down ) but here in Wisconsin it's gotten to be very dangerous as another an old timer rookie tried to kill himself at APS last summer, the track will never have them(vintage group) back, I'm told. I have been offered a vintage Sprint ride in my old age, but declined, thinking getting on track with 60-75 year old rookies is more dangerous than when I drove, I was the rookie with experienced drivers around me AND, Been There, Done That ! LOL ! Happy New Year to All !
  15. I almost forgot the 4"x4" wooden seat mount!
    blackandgold and Stogy like this.
  16. The reason we have so many safety rules today is because of the deaths and maiming of those in the old days. They paid the price for our upgrades.
    I know that as for the street rod/hot rod hobby the HAMB has been instrumental in a much higher quality of car being built today. I for one,( who is not so gifted as some on here) view the build threads of those of you who are quite excellent in the art of fabrication and it makes me strive for a better product than I probably would have settled for without this inspiration and influence.
    Viva la HAMB!
    pitman, INVISIBLEKID and Stogy like this.
  17. G-son
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 324

    from Sweden

    The cost of a funeral buys alot of safety gear, the cost of a lengthy hospital stay much more. There's no fun in buying or using the stuff, and most of it doesn't look very exciting, but at the end of the day, when sh*t happens most people are glad they had it.

    This isn't HAMB material, but it shows how things can go wrong. These banger racers are required to have a max 12l tank in the trunk, inside a fireproof container (basically, inside a metal box) when it isn't a separate "sealed" sedan trunk. If I recall, the cause of this was the mechanic forgetting to replace the gas cap after fueling up, possibly leaving the "box" open too.
    The drivers own safety gear failed pre race inspection, so he had borrowed another suit for the race. The gear he borrowed was approved for rally, with much better fire protection. He's probably happy about that today.

    The rules has since been changed, demanding better protective gear and outlawing plastic tanks.

    Stogy likes this.
  18. rustydusty
    Joined: Apr 19, 2010
    Posts: 660


    I find myself a lot more cautious in my old age. When I was young, I drove classic vehicles and hot rods with single piston master cylinders, no seat belts, and pretty much no other safety equipment. Now I never get in a car without buckling my seat belt, and have installed seat belts in all the early cars I've had. I am currently retrofitting a fire wall mounted dual master cylinder on my Dodge as I am not comfortable with the single master cylinder under the floor.
  19. In post 27 the fuel tank in the rear looks like a Taylorcraft airplane tank.
    Chain for seat belt anchor is good.
    deathrowdave and Stogy like this.
  20. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,635


    There's a very good documentary about the history of early Formula 1 racing called, "1". They concentrate a bit on safety or a lack of it. There's one segment where an official states, "Let's say you told a driver you had two cars. One car had safety features and the other car didn't. But the car without safety equipment was 1 second quicker than the other car. The driver would choose the car without the safety features."

    That was the attitude back then. Winning was all that mattered.

  21. steinauge
    Joined: Feb 28, 2014
    Posts: 1,489

    from 1960

    Invisible kid,I would ride\drive anything I had "back in the day" right now.I survived it then,so why not? The orange bike is a gas bike and ran 11.20s at 115-117 mph.It is sitting in my garage ,this pic was taken the last time I had it out about 2 years ago.I built this bike in 1975.The red bike I built in the late 60s as a fuel bike and sold when I retired in 2015.In the pic it is set up for gasoline and that pic was taken the last time it ran when I owned it.As a fueler it ran low 10s-high 9s in the 140-150 mph range.Not really fast enough even then but a lot of fun. DSCN0097.JPG DSCN0096.JPG
  22. Those jalopy-era guys ideas of 'fire protection' was to get out of car as fast as they could and run! Even as late as '64, Joe Weatherly wouldn't run a window net on his car for fear of fire after he witnessed the Fireball Roberts crash. Sadly he lost his life at the old Riverside raceway, when he smacked the drivers side on the retaining wall going into turn 6.......
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
    Stogy likes this.
  23. My family and I still do do that regularly in the summer!
  24. mkebaird
    Joined: Jan 21, 2014
    Posts: 164


    Riding on the fender of my 49 Willys wagon while my buddy was driving - adjusting the timing! Throttle was a piece of baling wire thru the dash!!
    Joined: Dec 14, 2009
    Posts: 683


    Every customer I deal with that is gun-ho about safety has “ the story” how an employee got hurt on the job and the company got screwed by our version of OSHA .

    I have also seen the OSHA guys go over board with idiotic safety requests and requirements ( lift capacities on the sides of forklifts , safety guards on top of safety guards , repainting yellow lines because they are the wrong shade of yellow etc)

    The last one I was involved in was a large account purchased 50 new crown reach fork lifts , ministry came in and locked the trucks out as they did not have post protection ( two posts on the rear of the operator compartment so if the driver smashed into racking they won’t get pinned against the rack and the machine )

    Well the customer and crown tried to fight the government , 1.5 years later the trucks all sat unused ........ the posts got installed at $1500 a truck !!!

    Even the manufacturer with the SAE and ANSI certifications on the truck could not fight big brother.

    There are other customers I go into and it’s just a shit show of lax safety laws, no rhyme , or reason to who or why or what gets a violation , seems to depend on the inspector and what mood they are in that day.

    Have a customer in the construction industry that’s KOR15 ( similar to ISO9001 ) they get fined as there trucks and equipment is two tone but there is no spot on the owner ship for two tone paint !! Wham ticket not in compliance. Nuts
  26. InstantT
    Joined: Aug 15, 2012
    Posts: 420

    from SoCal

    Master cylinder in my 57 failed at the donut shop meeting up to go to Long Beach swap meet.
    My 16 year old brain decides that I have a shifter and an e-brake so 50 miles each way won't be so bad. This was in 2000 or 2001.
    I remember being more concerned with rear endind someone and damaging that 57 than any thought of dying on the highway.
    What idiots we were! But great stories.

    Sent from my LGLS992 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    billsat likes this.
  27. christmas tree
    Joined: Dec 7, 2009
    Posts: 320

    christmas tree

    I have some photos on my story Going Full Circle
  28. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 2,371


    Hey CT,
    Yes, you are right as far as early safety was concerned. In building our 40 Willys Coupe for the Gas Coupe class in 1960, we followed the exact rules as specified by the national sanctioning body, Lions Dragstrip and most other So Cal dragstrips. It was our first real hot rod, race car and they were very specific about what could and could not be put on the build. So, since we did not want to be challenged every weekend by the usual protesters about this and that, we built it according to the specs provided.

    We wanted to be able to go anywhere to race our 671 SBC Willys coupe in C/Gas. The top and bottom scattershield was legal, the car was totally street legal, including the license plate, headlights, brake lights and mufflers.

    We even drove the race ready Willys around “police central” in Long Beach during our break-in period, street cruises. But, I have to admit, the Willys was a street car with all of the race car goodies. It certainly was not a daily driver, although, it would have been very cool to drive it to high school. The local, hot spot, drive-in restaurant in Bixby Knolls was enough of an ego builder when we drove it through the parking lot. Not looking for a race, but just chugging along until we got outside on the main cruising street.

    But what happens to anyone was just something that was going to happen. Nothing we did made it explode other than just racing to our heart’s content. The build and car were solid and according to most in the pits, well done for first timers with new stuff...671 for the SBC. It even impressed several potential sponsors (First time builders being so close to the national record for C/Gas) to help pay the bills for more speed stuff.

    If you read the blurb from the August 20th issue of Drag News, it says “a C/Altered Coupe lost a flywheel and clutch.” It was not as accurate as it could be. For accurate reporting that day, it was our C/Gas Willys coupe that blew up and the night ended at 9pm. Everyone was more concerned with the cancellation of the record setting Albertson Olds, gas FED, consecutive win streak coming to an end.

    The good thing coming out of that incident? (posted: July 13,2016 Willys Owners thread)
    Sorry, if we started the Moon Tank in front craze from that point on to the present. Safety yes, looks? That remains to be seen..."The jury is still out on that look." Our friend, Atts Ono, adjusted the placement of his Moon Tank (on his immaculate 40 Willys build) which was an excellent place in a designated build, not as an add on idea. His brackets were machined and well placed, inside of the grille.

    upload_2018-1-4_5-0-9.png Thanks, Jason...
    wicarnut and Ron Funkhouser like this.
  29. christmas tree
    Joined: Dec 7, 2009
    Posts: 320

    christmas tree

    OK guys, don,t tear into my ass to deep but I,m going to tell some of the safety shit I did witch was allowed by the rules (mostly) but which is not allowed today.. Got the idea from the Cook and Bedwell car (Cordova 1959). Took some 1950 Ford driveshafts properly sleeved them and gas welded them together and presto got 2 main frame rails and strutted them under neath with 1 in. electrical conduit. Very strong and cheap. One was a dragster and the other an altered. The altered was ran for years and the dragster sold. Somebody here mentioned water pipe and that was all we used 1959 to mid 60,s for roll bars arc welded together. No Mig or Tig for us at that time That was for the high tech shops.I hope you find this useful on the history of our hobby.
  30. christmas tree
    Joined: Dec 7, 2009
    Posts: 320

    christmas tree

    This is the Ford drive shaft chassis that was built in 63-64 years and ran until 73 I think. 16387091_988419164628091_7379482694384034943_n.jpg 16810044_1710180312341678_456422198_o.jpg

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